Scots with ADHD are calling for more clarity from officials amid a shortage of medication, with some going “weeks” without access to important treatment.

Labour MSP Daniel Johnson, who was diagnosed with ADHD himself 11 years ago, is among those leading the call for answers.

Today he will ask a question to the government on the issue in parliament.

The shortage, affecting people across the UK, has led to scarce supplies, causing patients to change their prescriptions.

The lack of clarity from the government and health officials is particularly disorientating to people with ADHD, who are naturally more hyperactive and overstimulated, according to Mr Johnson.

Speaking to The Herald, he said: “They’re asking people not to stockpile, but encouraging us not to be caught short without medication. What does that mean? I’m confused about what to do and I work in parliament. How are others meant to know?

“It’s causing a massive stress to people. Medication makes a real difference to people and when that becomes suddenly absent, there’s a lot of anxiety there.

“We need clarity on the nature of the problem and the timescale. Vague guidelines are not good enough. There are still a lot of unanswered questions.

“Is this a worldwide shortage, or is it more specific to the UK? What is the Scottish Government being told about it? I can’t tell if they know or they don’t know.”

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Due to increased awareness and more diagnoses, there is more demand for ADHD medication than ever before, with the number of Scots receiving a prescription for the condition increasing seven-fold in the last decade.

Mr Johnson added: “Some people need medication to not be a risk on the road. People are concerned that, if they run out, there could be real problems at work. It can affect how much they’re able to focus during the day. They might not have told their employers because there’s still a real stigma around ADHD.”

That stigma is felt by 35-year-old James, who says he is struggling to settle into his new job without his regular prescription and feels he may be forced into reluctantly sharing his condition with his employers.

He said: “The past couple of months have been a nightmare. I first became aware of a shortage in August and they said they’d give me a different brand of my regular tablets but they’d be pretty much the same. They just don’t seem to do anything, I’ve even tried taking double doses but it’s nothing like being on my usual stuff.

“It’s come at the worst possible time because I’ve just started a new job and people around me are already clocking that I’m antsy, that I’m always needing to walk around. If I was still on my old tables, my workload wouldn’t be affected.”

24-year-old Gregor has also been left without his medication while venturing into a new role, leaving his organisational skills depleted.  

It just adds to the feeling that ADHD isn’t taken as seriously as it should be.

He said: “I’ve just started a new job so it’s really important for me to be organised and on time and I’m struggling with it quite a bit, and the medication would really help.

“I also feel that if it was for a physical illness rather than a mental one, there would be more being done by the government, NHS and the health industry to bolster supply.

“It’s looking like I’ll have to wait until at least January. It just adds to the feeling that ADHD isn’t taken as seriously as it should be.”

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Hannah Nicol, 42, who was diagnosed just last July said: “A lot of us in the community are asking what is going on. Since April, getting medication has been a pure chore. Last month, it was practically impossible. It feels like we’re always having to jump through these hoops of justification.”

On the other side of the counter, pharmacists say the shortage has been caused by both increased demand and worldwide manufacturing issues.

Laura Wilson, Director for Scotland at the Royal Pharmaceutical Society said: “Pharmacy teams are taking steps to reduce the impact of shortages, including maintaining supplies where possible, exploring alternative options with patients and encouraging patients and carers to ask educational settings and workplaces to make suitable adjustments.

“Royal Pharmaceutical Society is keen to see conversations taking place between all stakeholders about how to avoid medicines shortages and, if they are inevitable, how we manage them in the safest and least disruptive way for patients.”

The Scottish Government has confirmed that they are aware of the shortage and say they hope for more stock to become available at the end of the year.

A spokesperson said: “The Scottish Government recognises the impact of these global shortages on people living with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and their families.

“A National Patient Safety Alert has been issued regarding supply disruptions for various medicines used in the treatment of ADHD.

“The shortages are caused by a combination of manufacturing issues and an increase in global demand. It is hoped that the shortages will be resolved by end of December.

“The NHS has robust systems in place to manage medicine shortages when they arise and anyone affected by this issue should speak to their usual clinical team.”